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Poster: bkidwell Date: Aug 6, 2011 6:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playin->Scarlet->Playin and the limits of the GD style

The subject of exactly how the transitions worked is one of those "infinitely deep" research topics that is a bit daunting to contemplate. There are certainly numerous examples of transitions between songs that are in quite different keys and/or rhythms - in general, in all eras, I think the more contrasting the harmonies and rhythms are, the more likely it is the transition will be an abrupt "splice" rather than something smooth. That isn't a hard and fast rule, but I don't have any really strong counterexamples to cite off the top of my head.

When I think of China Cat in 68, I tend to think of the DS->China Cat->11 sequence, and China Cat was in E back then? That puts it in the same place as St. Stephen so it fits in that sequence the same way.

I should add a disclaimer that I don't have perfect pitch so I am not necessarily 100% reliable as to the harmonic content of jams - at some point maybe I will figure out a way to have a small keyboard in my computer area so I can test chords and scales against what the band is playing. My acoustic piano is in a different room and is flat relative to the band's usual pitch, anyway.

One interesting thing about the China Cat transposition is that they transposed the singing portion but left some of the instrumental portion in the original key. This creates some really nice harmonic contrast within the song and improves its musical content quite a bit, in my opinion.

EDIT: Forgot to say anything about prog-rock. I like King Crimson very much, in all of the various configurations. They also did some quite good live improv. I'm not much of a fan of the rest of the prog genre, it usually sounds contrived to me. The "classical" elements often seem superficial, like printing a text in Ye Olde Tyme font.

This post was modified by bkidwell on 2011-08-07 01:34:41

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Aug 7, 2011 8:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playin->Scarlet->Playin and the limits of the GD style

King Crimson, especially in their 73-74 period, and especially live , is a great recommendation to fans of the Dead's more "jam" oriented stuff from this period .
The EARLY albums of Weather Report, and Return to Forever, also are relevant .
The jams are the stuff I like most of the band, the steak of the show if you will( sorry vegetarians )!, But I also like the salad, vegetables, and potato also . I think it was a matter of balance .